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DUREGGER: Gun control legislation is necessary, now more than ever

Following numerous mass shootings across the country, it is crucial that bipartisan support meets gun control legislation

<p>Hundreds of people visited the site of a mass shooting at a Boulder, Colo. King Soopers to leave flowers, cards and candles on March 23, 2021.</p>

Hundreds of people visited the site of a mass shooting at a Boulder, Colo. King Soopers to leave flowers, cards and candles on March 23, 2021.

With COVID-19 vaccine distribution ongoing and COVID-19-related deaths decreasing, it would seem as if America is finally going back to normal. However, we are forgetting what our normal really entails. For the past year, news coverage has focused on everything pertaining to COVID-19 due to its viral, widespread nature. Now that a return to normalcy is in sight, news coverage has begun diverting to more pressing issues that bring us back to a harsh reality. One of the most devastating and heartbreaking examples of this is mass shootings. 

Mass shootings have already gone under the radar this year. In March alone there were at least twenty mass shootings across the country. Three of the most reported shootings took place in Orange, Calif. on March 31, Boulder, Colo. on March 23 and Atlanta on March 16. Now, in August, we have already experienced 611 mass shootings and 28,921 gun violence-related deaths — with both numbers growing each day.

America is not new to the utter suffering and trauma that follows these shootings. In our country’s lifespan, we have seen horror stories of deadly shootings time and time again. In fact, in 2019 the U.S. had the 32nd highest rate of deaths from gun violence in the world. This is our normal, and something needs to change.

In the Orange County shooting, a nine-year-old boy was murdered in cold blood. He was found dying in the arms of his supposed mother. In the Boulder shooting, an 11-year veteran police officer was killed. He had seven kids. In the Atlanta shooting, a mother, business owner and role model died at the hands of a rampaging gunman. Her birthday was just two days after her death. In regards to gun control, oftentimes we forget what is at stake. We dehumanize the situation, seeing death upon death as only statistics. Yet, it is so much more than that. Human lives are being lost. Sons, fathers and mothers alike are ripped from this earth due to the senselessness of others. How many innocent lives will be lost before change will be made?

The time-old argument against gun control is that it strips Americans of their Second Amendment right. But the mere purpose of this legislation is not to infringe — it is to control. The House recently passed legislation meant to close the infamous Charleston Loophole — which allows background checks to be overlooked if their duration exceeds three days — and make background checks necessary for private gun sales. If these measures pass the Senate, the gun sale process will still continue, just in a slower and safer manner. 

Now more than ever we need bipartisan and presidential support for gun control. However, both President Biden and Senate Republicans have turned their cheek away from any true action. Despite the President’s urge for “common sense measures,” he has not taken initiative on the matter since the beginning of his presidency. Instead he announced his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Though this plan to modernize infrastructure, ramp up worker training and expand access to caregiving is necessary for our future, it overlooks more pressing issues that America faces today. 

When Biden unveiled his presidential platform in 2020, gun control measures were at its forefront. Biden, throughout his political career, has gradually leaned into gun control measures. Yet now, as the most politically powerful man in America, he is silent. Biden’s legislative accomplishments in the past do not make up for his lack of action today.

As a country, we should be focusing on a joint effort to pass gun control legislation. This is quite literally a matter of life or death, and it is the responsibility of the President of the United States to spearhead this effort and take executive action if needed. And where executive action falls short, the President must begin to diligently work with senators across the aisle to pass legislation. Protecting American lives must take precedent before we move to less vital tasks like modernizing infrastructure. 

At the end of the day, guns will be sold no matter what. That much is true. But if Biden can get off his hypocritical throne and start acting instead of speaking, maybe our nation’s normal will finally change. If we can begin working towards a bipartisan resolution, maybe our nation’s normal will finally change. We have waited far too long to take action. I know that if that was my brother, my father or my mother whose life was unexpectedly taken, I would want our legislative body to act. We owe it to those thousands of lives lost this year to establish safer gun laws. It is far from an accomplishment that our country must live through — and die from — such horrific acts every day.

Grace Duregger is a Viewpoint Writer for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Cavalier Daily. Columns represent the views of the authors alone.